The geographical area covered by the research is contained roughly within the boundaries of Lisburn City Council as it existed prior to its amalgamation with Castlereagh in 2015. This extended approximately from, and includes, Glenavy in the north to Dromara in the south, and from Dunmurry in the east to Moira in the west. However, while identifying a line on a map is simple enough, deciding who falls within it is more complex.
Criteria for Inclusion
The essential criteria used to determine who features on the site is that they were either born, lived or are commemorated within the area or their next of kin lived here. Commemoration is most obviously seen on the major War Memorials for example in Lisburn, Hillsborough and at Lambeg. It also occurs on a host of smaller memorials, usually in churches but also elsewhere for example Friends’ School, Lisburn Orange Hall and Glenavy Protestant Hall, and quite often on family headstones in local cemeteries.
Whatever criteria are used will produce anomalies. For example, some of those remembered here may have been born in the area but moved away soon after, and in later life never thought of themselves as ‘from the Lisburn area’. Similarly, particularly on the periphery in places like Glenavy and Dromara, individuals may be commemorated inside it but actually lived outside it. And in some cases using the “next of kin” criteria has resulted in the inclusion of individuals who may have had little or no connection with the borough but whose loved ones did. For reasons such as these the boundaries of the geographical area covered have been deliberately blurred.
As for sources, local memorials and headstones provided the basic information needed to begin the construction of a “Casualty List” turning that into something more than a list of names involved scouring the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the War Office Casualty Lists published in 1921 as “Soldiers Died in the Great War” and “Ireland’s Memorial Record”. Together these can give basic information about where a man was born, enlisted and lived, which unit he served with, where and when he died and where he is buried or commemorated. Along with Medal Index Cards, Medal Rolls, the Army Registers’ of Soldiers Effects and Local newspapers, specifically the Standard and Herald, they provide a basic framework around which an obituary can be built. Developing it further requires something more substantial specifically Battalion War Diaries and, the generally more elusive, Service and Pension records.